Tommy Vietor is Saving the World, One Podcast at a Time

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Information evaluation of my 2017 calendar would recommend a robust correlation between drives right down to Silicon Valley and the Crooked Media podcast schedule. It’s actually the one strategy to cope with 101 visitors. I’ve met the Crooked Media group at completely different occasions, beginning with Dan Pfeiffer whereas he was nonetheless on the White Home, and love seeing them construct their new firm with equal doses of mission and arched eyebrows. Tommy Vietor (host, Pod Save the World) and I’ve a deep and significant on-line friendship which principally includes fav’ing every others tweets. Right here he joins me for 5 Questions…

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Hunter Stroll: While you shaped Crooked Media one of many factors of emphasis was to ramp up the ‘activism’ facets of the platform. How has that manifested itself within the content material thus far in comparison with the pre-election podcasts?

Tommy Vietor: I ought to stipulate that we have now much more work to do on this entrance. We’ve began a sequence of conversations with sensible organizers and activist teams to determine how we will help with out reinventing the wheel. What’s clear thus far is that the important thing goals would be the 2017 gubernatorial races after which profitable again the home in 2018. 2018 is the entire ballgame.

That stated, we’ve tried to do a greater job of not simply speaking about what terrible factor occurred that week, but additionally serving to listeners perceive what they’ll do about it. That final step is what I feel distinguishes us from even progressive information shops. Generally our solutions will really feel small and never notably satisfying. Usually what we suggest will likely be as primary as name your member of Congress, or donate to SwingLeft.org to elevate cash for the candidates who problem Republican members of Congress, however within the combination it’ll add up. So all of us have to remain centered.

HW: How do you measure success proper now—is it podcast obtain numbers and iTunes scores? Extra qualitative sense of what your pals, insiders and common viewers are saying in regards to the pod?

TV: There’s a bunch of scattered metrics that matter to us. A few of them are conventional enterprise KPIs like viewers progress, not only for Pod Save America however for the entire Crooked Media exhibits. We view our first spherical of hiring as an enormous success. However the vital work is forward of us. We need to develop out the podcast community to incorporate extra voices. We need to get into video. We need to discover a strategy to be an actual worth add for individuals who need to get extra energetic in politics, and we need to assist push Democrats to be higher and talk extra successfully. So….entire lotta’ work to do. However thus far so good!

HW: The sponsor stay reads are a really, uh, humorous a part of the pods. Are sponsors only a enterprise mannequin, or over time do you assume it’s a chance for manufacturers to take a stance as a result of their prospects or staff need to see their values tangibly. Have you ever turned down any manufacturers that you just thought didn’t belong on the pod?

TV: We didn’t make a aware option to have enjoyable through the advertisements as a lot as we simply bought bored of studying the identical copy and the jokes slipped out. Then it grew to become a enjoyable a part of the present and a contest to see how far we might push it (turns on the market are boundaries). The excellent news is that listeners appear to get pleasure from them and are much less more likely to hit the skip button, which implies sponsors are getting good returns. I completely assume there’s a chance for manufacturers to take a stance and discuss extra about their values. In locations like San Francisco the place you’ve gotten a largely progressive, extremely educated workforce, I feel it’s going to be a strategic crucial for firms to have values and a voice, particularly in the event that they need to recruit younger folks. All of us need to really feel like our jobs quantities to greater than only a paycheck (or fairness allocation!) and I think CEOs have been listening to the backlash towards firms and CEOs that stayed concerned with the Trump administration after the Muslim ban. That was an enormous mistake.

HW: Put up-election, what’s the tech trade doing nicely in resisting Trump and pushing again towards the administration and the place are we nonetheless naive or complacent?

TV: I ought to caveat this by saying that all the political world known as 2016 mistaken, myself very a lot included, so I method all political predictions and recommendation with humility and a grain of salt. The most important disconnect between the tech neighborhood and Washington (in my humble opinion as a man who admittedly solely is aware of the tech neighborhood as an observer) is a default assumption that politics is ruled by logic and motive. That’s simply not true. It’s a wildly inefficient course of pushed by irrational people, and the logical clarification of how or why one thing ought to occur is never the best way issues play out. It sucks and is infuriating. Sadly meaning it’s tougher to use know-how to resolve issues which can be political or human in nature. And generally of us with nothing however good intentions can find yourself annoyed by the shortage of progress and find yourself wanting naive, particularly when you’ve gotten an issue just like the refugee disaster that simply can’t be hacked and as an alternative require main authorities involvement and political assist to resolve. That’s additionally why the libertarian view that issues can be higher if authorities simply bought out of the best way isn’t all the time true.

On the optimistic facet, I’ve been impressed by what number of leaders within the tech neighborhood have spoken out towards Trump’s insurance policies early on throughout his administration when lots of people have been scared. Elon Musk waited too lengthy to get off of Trump’s advisory council, however he did it. Tim Cook dinner’s lobbying in assist of the Paris Settlement was highly effective even when finally unsuccessful. These are massive, revered manufacturers, and the enterprise critiques of Trump matter.

HW:  After commuting backwards and forwards, you’ve just lately moved right down to LA from SF. Higher climate however we’ve bought higher espresso, proper?

TV: I’ve wonderful mates in SF. Good, humorous, good, superior folks from all completely different components of my life, and I actually miss them. And residing in SF you kind take as a right how cool it’s to stay in a metropolis the place persons are so snug with taking massive swings and never afraid of failure. That may be a uncommon, superior tradition. Transferring was unhappy. I beloved my little (costly) one bed room in Pac Heights. I usually stare longingly at my Fremont Diner espresso cup. However LA has been nice thus far, and I’m extra enthusiastic about work than I’ve been in a very long time. Additionally the climate is fairly nice…

Thanks Tommy! Please assist the Crooked Media group by subscribing to Pod Save the World and shopping for some merch

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